While the top names in professional golf are gathered in Augusta, GA for a chance to claim the green jacket this weekend, Penn golf will be split across the East Coast — the women's team at the Hoya Invitational, and the men's team at Princeton.
Unfortunately, the pristine greens of the Augusta National Golf Club are absent from the Quakers’ schedule, but here is our choice of the top three best courses Penn has ever played.
3. Springdale Golf Course (Princeton University) — Princeton, New Jersey
Built in 1895, the Springdale Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in New Jersey, predating even the below-mentioned Yale Golf Course. While the course is part of a private club, Springdale has always held a close relationship with Princeton University, hosting a number of collegiate tournaments every year.
The walkable golf course has always had pristine conditions that only the best of golfers are able to successfully navigate. Redesigned just the year after the Yale Golf Course was built, Springdale has managed to maintain its prominence in the golf community.
The men's team will spend the coming weekend at Springdale to compete in the Princeton Invitational across two days.
2. The Yale Golf Course — New Haven, Connecticut
The Yale Golf Course holds a prominent place in Ivy League golf history. With its inception in 1926, Yale contracted the father of American golf architecture: Charles Blair Macdonald. The first to build an 18-hole course in the United States, Macdonald blessed Yale with one of the best golf courses in America. In 2019, the course was ranked #53 in Golfweek’s Top 200 Classic Courses and first among college courses.
While the Yale Golf Course hosts a number of tournaments, including amateur tournaments like the U.S. Junior Amateur Golf Championship and Connecticut Amateur, nothing compares to its NCAA competitions.
For as long as golf has been played at Penn, the men’s and women’s teams have been traveling to the historic golf site to participate in tournaments such as the Macdonald Cup, the Yale Spring Invitational, and the NCAA Regional Championships.
In their return from the COVID-19 hiatus this past fall, the men’s and women’s golf teams placed fifth and sixth respectively out of over ten teams during the annual Yale Macdonald Cup.
1. Surf Golf and Beach Club — North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
When members of the Penn men’s and women’s golf teams found out that the Penn students were being sent home due to COVID-19, the golfers were in the midst of their annual joint spring break training trip in North Myrtle Beach. Between the fourth and fifth day of their excursion, the Quakers had to return home.
A few weeks ago, the golfers finally got to finish the trip for their 2022 spring break.
“It was like a redemption trip,” Penn women’s golf captain and senior Mary Shin said. “We got to go back to the same place. It was the same exact same golf resort that we were at [before the pandemic]; everything was familiar yet distant at the same time.”
Immediately following their spring break training, the men’s golf team attended the Bash at the Beach tournament to kick off their 2022 spring season. Finishing 11th of 14 teams in attendance, the Quakers certainly fell short of their expectations. Despite that, for many of the players, the Myrtle Beach course has come to hold a special place in their memories.
Honorable mention: Old Course — St Andrews, Scotland
While Penn golf certainly isn’t a regular to the Old Course in Scotland, nothing can beat the home of golf. As the name would imply, the St Andrews course is one of the oldest and most iconic golf courses in the world — its Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunker are recognized by many across the globe.
As the chosen spring training trip for Penn’s 2018-2019 season, the historical course has certainly left an impression on all those who were fortunate enough to play.